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Quebec issues alarming expansions to assisted suicide qualifications

by | Jun 16, 2023

By Bridget Sielicki

Quebec has expanded its Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) qualifications to include advanced consent, even as its assisted suicide and euthanasia deaths are at an alarming all-time high.

Bill 11 now permits those with a debilitating illness like Alzheimer’s to arrange an advanced directive for an assisted suicide death up to 24 months ahead of time. Under the bill, a person will now be able to receive a MAiD death even if they aren’t able to consent to it at the time of the procedure. The expanded provisions also now allow access to assisted suicide to those with “a severe physical impairment resulting in a significant and persistent disability.”

Per CTV News Montreal, the bill will also require palliative care centers to offer the option of assisted suicide, and it will allow nurse practitioners to oversee assisted suicide deaths in addition to medical doctors.

Lawmakers in Quebec adopted the proposal even though federal law prohibits advanced requests for MAiD deaths. However, according to Saltwire, provinces are largely responsible for healthcare, which could mean that the law will stand.

“We will be studying this legislation and its implications closely, and will be working with our Quebec counterparts on this matter,” Diana Ebadi, spokesperson for federal Justice Minister David Lametti, said.

The minister responsible for seniors, Sonia Bélanger, also said that she has discussed the bill with the federal government, and she expects it will take some time for it to be implemented.

“We have to meet the professional orders: the Order of Nurses and the College of Physicians. Training programs need to be put in place. We must train competent professionals and we must train them correctly,” she explained.

Pro-death organizations praised the bill. “With advance requests, people affected by a cognitive neurodegenerative disease who want medical assistance in dying can finally have a peaceful end of life,” said Georges L’Esperance, president of the Quebec Association for the Right to Die with Dignity.

Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition warned against Bill 11 in March. “Euthanasia (killing) is bad enough, but killing by advanced consent changes the nature of consent, meaning, someone can be killed without a clear and present consent,” he said. “When consent becomes secondary, it changes the question of who can be killed by lethal injection.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Assisted Suicide